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Plan a Catalina Getaway with Ease

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After staying at home for the last few months, you may feel like it’s time to get away. Planning a trip right now may have you wondering where to start. Catalina Island is the perfect place to dip your toes back in the travel game. We are here to answer your questions with some helpful information. Follow these top travel tips and frequently asked questions to prepare for your stress-free Island vacation.a large body of water with a mountain in the background

“I’ve never been to the Island. How do I get started?”
The Catalina Express website is filled with a wealth of knowledge about our service as well as the Island. There you will find ideas of what activities to do, where to eat and where to stay. There are even itineraries that help you plan your trip depending on your style. If you’re wondering what is open on the Island at this time, please visit Love Catalina – Catalina Island Visitors Authority for up to date information of what can be enjoyed on Catalina Island.

“Do I need to make a reservation?”
Reservations are not required, but are especially critical for travel during this time. We are operating at a reduced capacity to allow for distancing on the boats, so popular times are selling out quickly. We have a flexible cancellation policy that allows you cancel by 4:30pm the day prior to departure without penalty.

Our schedules and fares are on our website to help you plan what times work best for your schedule. Our online system makes booking a reservation very easy. Or if you prefer to talk to a person, you may contact one of our knowledgeable agents at 800.995.4386.

“What has changed over the past couple months in terms of travel and cleaning protocols?”
The safety and security of our passengers and employees are top priorities of Catalina Express. We have taken extra precautions during this time based on the guidance of the County of Los Angeles, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other local health departments. We have enhanced our cleaning procedures and have put in place guidelines for more distancing. For more details on these new protocols, please visit our Know Before You Travel page on our website.

“Where and when do I go to check in?”
Catalina Express has three conveniently located terminals in Southern California. The San Pedro terminal is located at the end of the 110 freeway and is the closest terminal to LAX. The Long Beach terminal provides the most flexible schedule and is only located 10 minutes from our San Pedro location. For passengers traveling from San Diego or southern Orange County, the Dana Point location will be the most convenient. For directions and parking information, please visit our port page on our website.

Check-in time for all of our reservations begin an hour before departure. Passengers must have their tickets in hand and ready to board 15 minutes prior to departure. We know that sometimes you may get stuck in traffic and not be able to make your scheduled departure time. Please give us a call before your departure, so we can see how we can assist.

“What do I need to bring?”
If you have never traveled to the Island, you might wonder what are the essential items to pack. First and for most, bring a light jacket for if you would like to seat outdoors on the ride over. Wearing comfortable soft-sole shoes is a good idea since you might do some walking around town. Following County of Los Angeles guidelines, passengers are required to wear a face covering or mask that cover their nose and mouth while in the terminal, waiting in line to board and on board the vessel. Catalina Island also requires you to wear a mask or face covering when in public areas.

A frequently asked question is “do I need a passport?” Catalina Island may seem like it’s a world away, but you are actually not leaving the state of California, so a passport is not needed. We do recommend traveling with a government issued photo ID.

“How much luggage am I allowed to bring on my trip?”
Each passenger is allowed two pieces of luggage, no larger than 23”x 23”x 37” and weighing no more than 50 lbs. each, to be stowed in the luggage compartment. In addition, each passenger may bring one carry-on that fits at the seat or in the overhead bin. For items like fishing poles, coolers or strollers that don’t follow the aforementioned rules, please visit our baggage guidelines page for more information.

Catalina Express wants our passengers to have a safe and fun time on Catalina Island and hope these tips will help ensure that happens. Many more questions are answered on our FAQ section of our website.

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